If the rumors and leaks about Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 8 are to be believed, then it should look pretty similar to Samsung's (SSNLF) newest flagship phone, the S8, that was released last week. But an expert says it's easy to tell the difference between the two tech giants' phones once you tear them down.
iCracked CEO A.J. Forsythe joined TheStreet this week to demonstrate how to take apart and put back together the Galaxy S8 as well as an iPhone 6s. His company allows people to order a technician to their home, office or a coffee shop to fix their phones in about 30 minutes.
Although the specs on Apple and Samsung phones are nearly identical, the insides are unique to each company, Forsythe said. "If you've taken apart a couple of devices, you can 100% tell which company designed which," he said. "Apple is more design-focused and Samsung is more focused on hardware and utility."
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was well known for his pickiness when it came to design, wanting the inside of Apple's devices to look as streamlined as the outside. "I think Apple's design ethos inside the devices is more pleasing to work with, but replacing the screens are very similar," Forsythe explained.
In addition, Jobs didn't want anyone being able to tinker with the insides of Apple's devices so the iPhone 4 came out with pentalobe security screws that were meant to keep people from taking them apart and modifying them. "At first everyone was like, 'Oh my gosh this is crazy,' but now you can buy a screwdriver that can get past them for about 50 cents," Forsythe said.
The most notable similarity that's expected between the Galaxy S8 and the yet-to-be-released iPhone 8 is the stunning edge-to-edge OLED screens. In fact, Apple actually ordered 70 million OLED screens from Samsung this year, so expect a very similar look to the S8. OLED screens provide better picture quality and are more power efficient.
While these larger glass screens are gorgeous, they come at a cost. Forsythe says his company tracks breakage rates and has noted that the larger devices tend to break more frequently. Even when taking apart the Galaxy S8 with special tools, he has to be extra careful to not crack or shatter the glass panels. This is in line with a study from protection plan company Square Trade that found the S8 was more prone to cracking than its predecessor, the S7. "While the nearly all-glass design of the S8 makes it a beautiful phone, it's extremely susceptible to cracking when dropped from any angle," said Jason Siciliano, vice president global creative director at SquareTrade.
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